# How can I relate the reactivity series to electronegativity and ionization energy?

I am trying to figure out how the reactivity series comes about. My understanding is that elements with a higher electronegativity will be more reactive than elements with a lower electronegativity, and that elements with a low ionization energy will be more reactive than elements with a high ionization energy.

Here is a chart of electronegativity (from Wikipedia):

This shows electronegativity decreasing (as reactivity increases) down Group 1 and it also decreasing (as reactivity decreases) down Group 7.

Here is a chart of ionization energy:

This shows ionization energy decreasing (as reactivity increases) down Group 1 and it also decreasing (as reactivity decreases) down Group 7.

Neither electronegativity nor ionization energy can predict both reactivity trends, so what is going on?

• Two thoughts: 1. More reactive with what? 2. The alkali metals are very power reducing agents - their reaction with water gets more explosive as you go down the group (to lower electronegativities). – Ben Norris Dec 2 '14 at 11:35
• @BenNorris I guess this question is referring to the metal reactivity series. The WP page says that: "It is used to summarize information about the reactions of metals with acids and water, double displacement reactions and the extraction of metals from their ores." – Gaurang Tandon May 16 '18 at 12:27